Following, are just a few highlights from the four days of competition that took place at Wake Forest University's Kentner Stadium. Lee Bridges wowed the crowd with a double victory in the 200 m and 400 m dashes. Newcomer to USATF, James Birgans, placed 2nd in the 100 m, leaving no doubt that he will contend for future championships in the premier event.
Rashida Gates showed no fear in the 400m, taking an early lead around the curve and through the backstretch. She hung on for 3rd place, achieving a personal record of 62.99 and All-America honors in the process. She also ran a stellar leg of the 4x400 m non-club relay, helping her team win silver. Hurdlers Kerry Sloan and Jay Williams achieved All-America honors in the 400 m hurdles, with times of 65.04 and 66.28.
The team performance of the day belonged to the M50 4x400 club relay team of Kerry Sloan, Mike Young, Jay Williams, and Leo Worsley. Kudos go out to Mike Young, who hadn't run a 400 m in over 30 years! He ran a tough lap on an injured foot, replacing an also injured Birgans.
Every team member contributed to the team's 63 point total, helping Explosion earn the 24th spot out of more than 100 teams. One member of the Beast Squad, however, shouldered the bulk of of the load. Beast Squad Diva, Jossette "Josie" Hobbs snagged two personal records and three All-America honors, en route to three silver medals and 18 team points! She won silver in the 100 m, the 200 m, and the long jump.
The team had a great time, setting new personal records and meeting friends new and old. One of those new friends is Jonah Silva, a member newly recruited by Peirre Williams when they were both at the USATF National Club Championships in Tacoma, Washington. Jonah participated in the 800 m as an unattached runner, placing 6th. He also ran a leg of the 2nd place 4x800 m non-club relay with yours truly. Next season, Jonah will compete as a member of the growing Explosion Track Club family. Welcome Jonah!